Follow your instincts

I won't go so far as to say women have better instincts than men. I think men have strong instincts too.

I believe I have very strong instincts and I should always follow them. Here are 3 examples where my instincts have proven to be right.

1. Back-stabbed at work
When I joined a company, naturally I was introduced to everyone and a group of us went out for lunch together. There was a guy whom I, for some reason, did not like. I had a strange and uncomfortable feeling about him. But he was capable and everybody liked, respected and spoke highly of him. So I led myself to believe that he was as good as they said. I had the opportunity to work with him (I was his subordinate) and I found him to be indeed capable and I started speaking highly of him too, like everybody else. He delegated a large portion of his work to me and before I knew it, I was leading one of the teams for him and doing the daily management reporting for him. Being young and naive then, I was grateful for the opportunity. However, one day another colleague who is my close friend told me that he blamed the delays in the project on me when he reported back to his boss. Everybody was working on weekends and putting in extra hours - we worked as "early" as till 5am in the morning - and there were other teams involved that had to do their part too. I got to hand it to him for using me to get the cooperation of the other team members because if he had been the one to ask them to work till 5am I think they would have just walked off. On the other hand, I think it was silly of him to put the blame on a fresh graduate and even sillier if his manager to have believed him! Anyway, I learnt my lesson to trust my instincts instead of what others say.

2. What are friends for? (The WTF story about my cancelled Mount Kinabalu trip)
Here is the sequence of events. I trust you'll find the skulduggery when you reach the end.
- My friend asked me to go to Mount Kinabalu with her because she didn't have anyone to do it with her.
- I was reluctant to go because I've gone there before but I said that I would think about it.
- She wanted to go on a particular weekend (Hari Raya long weekend). I asked her why it needs to be that weekend because it's a long weekend and we might have difficulty getting accommodation and flight. She said she does not have any more days of annual leave left for the rest of the year.
- I checked the possible flights and availability of accommodation, and emailed them to her.
- She replied that next day that she has booked the flights.
- I asked her why she booked the flights because I had not booked mine and had not confirmed the trip with her. She said she thought I had booked it.
- Since she had booked her flight already, I booked mine too (expensive because it's the long weekend!). And I also told her that I would book the accommodation because there were only 5 beds left when I checked it the previous day.
- I booked us 2 beds using my credit card and paid a 10% deposit. The deposit was SGD12 per bed. (So expensive!!! And it's just a lousy bed with no heater in the room and no sleeping bag.)
- 3 weeks before the trip, she sends me an SMS to inform me that she has to work that weekend and apologise about canceling the trip. She didn't ask me about the cancellation of accommodation or my ticket.
- I asked her what to do with the accommodation because the terms and conditions in the confirmation email stated that cancellation is not allowed and the remaining 90% will be charged regardless.
- She asked me to find out whether that was really the case and offered to pay the full charge for both of us if it can't be waived.
- I called and emailed the resthouse and they agreed to waive the 90% but the 10% booking fee was not refundable. I informed her about it.
- I changed the itinerary of my trip but I still took the flight out because it was nonrefundable. Of course most of the places were closed for Hari Raya celebrations so it really wasn't a great time to travel to Malaysia.
- I met her for lunch shortly after my trip. She did not apologise for the cancellation. We went dutch for lunch, i.e. she paid for her share and I paid for mine. I gave her a birthday present because her birthday was approaching. She told me that she was going to Sabah the following week for a 2-week vacation with her boyfriend who was coming from London. I asked her what she was going to do there. She said they were going to Mulu National Park.
- After lunch, I felt she had she lied to me though I did not have any proof.
- Today I saw her Facebook wall. She climbed Mount Kinabalu during her trip.

3. Imposter online
I got to know a guy online (someone who has seen my blog). He said he was from Florida and has been working in Singapore as a lecturer in the fitness industry. He showed me some pictures of himself on MSN. From his pictures, he was a very hunky, good looking ang mo. And I thought he was too good to be true. So rule of thumb is, if someone is too good to be true, he is too good to be true. I told him that I wasn't into ang mo's but could consider him. He recommended me to a "friendship" website and asked me to sign up to see what kind of people I can find in there. He even helped me write my introduction - I only needed to copy and paste it in. I thought it was strange for a guy to want me to help me get to know other guys! I signed up nevertheless out of curiosity. Then we exchanged phone numbers and I spoke with him on the phone. It turned out that he did not sound like an American at all. I've been to Florida and have spoken with people from Florida and they don't sound like that! I told him straight that he sounded Singaporean and to show up in person instead of carrying on with online messages. Of course, he insisted that he was the person he claimed to be. Today he called me and confessed that he's not from Florida and he asked me to create a profile at the website because he wanted to send me a message from there as the person that he really was and hoped I would respond. So my instincts were right: he was too good to be true.


~Pink Miu Miu~ said...

Mmm women's instincts, fortunately or unfortunately, are usually accurate...

The last one cute haha..went through so much length in order to be yr friend.. quite creative in a wicked way :P

Anyway babe, muz be careful these online stuff..

~Pink Miu Miu~ said...

i knw u must be feeling disappointed with your friend but try, try forgive her.. in fact her loss lor..she loses a great friendship...

What are friends for? Mm.. nowadays relationships are so hard to sustain, anyhing is possible... and yes i also mentioned in my blog, if something seems too good to be true, it REALLY is :(

Anonymous said...

I always believe things happen for good reasons. U should look at the other side of the coin, it's a learning experience and those happening occured earlier rather then late as it might drag u deeper and expensive. As things happened and now u know who r yr True friend. True Real Friends r just a handful

Yu-Kym said...

Pink Miu Miu, Guys also have instincts but they often allow logic to overrride it.
Yes, I'm disappointed that I got treated like dirt. There's nothing to forgive because she does not seek forgiveness. I just take it as I gave it my best, it didn't work out, so I got to cut my losses and move on.
Nowadays I look at friendship the way I look at love relationships. It's difficult to find someone like-minded, requires alot of effort and there's bound to be disagreements. I don't mind if people put others priorities ahead of their friendship with me, e.g. work or bf/gf, but dishonesty is one thing that I don't put up with.

Anon, what I've learnt is to trust my instincts. Everyone is different so there's no way to generalise and tell myself not to do the same with another person. You are right to point out that it's better that such things happen earlier rather than later. The price that I paid to find out the truth was only a small one.

David said...


Very good thoughts expressed here.

Sad to read that your 'climbing partner', deserted you without warning. One wonders what kind of person does not have the simple courtesey and kindness to say I rather not have you climb with me?

Backstabbing at work happens everywhere.

Unless you are lucky enough to work for an organization that fosters and lives a team building environment, backstabbers will always be around.

Detecting and avoiding such people is not always easy. The only advice I can offer is that when given the opportunity to move into a new job or withing an existing company is to ask as many questions as possible to as many people as you can find to find out about a new superior or how the group functions in the real world.

Back to your mtn climbing. I would think that you will want to carefully build a trust relationship with anyone you take on as a climbing partner or team. Every climber depends on all the others for their lives!

The least lack of trust could cause disaster.

I believe you are smart enough to have formed ideas you can file under lessons learned.

Best of luck with future climbs!

Do have a great weekend!


kingkong said...

women's friendship vs men's friendship is totally in a different can you get gender equality when you rage like a woman? if this happen to a guy, it would be like,"hey, my gf is coming in from london and i gotta ditch you and go with her instead". reply "all right man,i understand, you go have fun with your girl". and that's it, no sneaking in facebook and bitch stab her in blog.

Yu-Kym said...

kingkong, yup there's no gender equality. I assume you're just another guy who jumps to conclusions without reading properly? Did my ex-friend tell me "hey, my bf is coming in from london and i gotta ditch you and go with him instead"?

Yu-Kym said...

Thanks David, that was more of a trek than climb. I certainly won't do rock/mountain climbing with somebody I don't have an established relationship with because everyone has different styles so it takes time to learn and adapt.

About work, my colleagues and bosses have changed so much. Only 1 colleague/boss who was there when I started out is still in the company! I agree with you that backstabbers will always be around. Just when I thought I killed one, another will emerge LOL

Anonymous said...

well, what can i say ? you have my 101% agree on what you just posted.

Anonymous said...

Will go Mount Kinabalu May 2010 my wife, friend and me only, we are short of people if you dont mind you can join us (facebook)

Yu-Kym said...

sfchin78, thanks for the offer. I wasn't that keen on climbing it actually. Enjoy yourself!

Confidego said...

I wonder what can't they come clean and must resort to such tactics?

Honesty is honesty.

Yu-Kym said...

Confidego, I think it's fear of others' reaction to the truth. Also, some people find it fun to lie and play games :/

Anonymous said...

Backstabbers, the liars, etc exists in every organisation. You just have to be one step ahead most of the time (if not all) to survive. It's a simple fact of life. Survive or perish!

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would sometimes trust my instincts too..but i think there should be some caveat somewhere in this.

Trusting your instincts too readily and hastily can be like be too cocksure of oneself without any real, substantive or evidential basis! So good or bad instinctive impressions, some margin or allowance for error should be accorded to the person or situation.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

Instincts can tell us things that seem illogical or unexplainable but they turn out to be right. Some people have stronger instincts than others. There's a difference between instincts and thoughts. There's a book I just read titled "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. It covers the instinct versus thought very well.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they do sometimes turn out right! Amazing!

curious cat